My youngest is interested in robotics.
My older boy is into chemical reactions.
My daughter wants to learn about animal behavior.
Each of these individually can be extremely challenging to teach. Robotics starts with simple machines, progresses to more complex mechanisms, and then adds in electronic components. I have a basic understanding of the first one of those but chemical reactions are beyond me. I know the
basics of the chemical reaction of fire because of my own childhood exploration with it (no, my mom was not thrilled) but that is the extent of it. He asks why pennies can be cleaned in coke or what happens when you take various elements he knows of and combine it to some other seemingly random element and I am lost. Animal behavior is a topic I know about but it is very complex. If it was only K9 behavior, or feline behavior, even sugar glider behavior, it wouldn’t be so daunting, but she wants to know it All Right Now.
Then, on top of all that, we add in their sports exploration!
My youngest is going to take swimming lessons this year.
My older boy is going to learn to play golf.
My girl is going to try soccer.
Every single one of my children wants to learn something very different in every single subject! How am I to juggle all of this??
We homeschool our children to not only give them the best education we can, but also to allow them to be individuals with unique interests and allow them to fully explore those interests. We do our best to work in this mission but there comes a point where we have to say “hold up”. I was not joking when I said my kids wanted to learn something different in every subject.
My twins are 7th grade and my youngest is 5th grade and I involve them in curriculum selection every year. As they have grown, I have allowed them more say in what they want to learn. They all wanted to be in three different history cycles. They all wanted to do different things for art. They all want to learn to play different instruments this year. My mind was spinning when we were planning curriculum.
I finally said, you are not getting everything you want to do this year.
History is all in the same era. Art is all together. Core science curriculum is all together as well as nutrition this year. Math is decided for them, as it is a master approach, as well as English. I at least have these subjects settled and figured out.
But how do I juggle the others???
There are two ways I can plan this. Either each kid gets their own time with me three days a week to study weekly material for their subject or each kid has one day during the week where I sit down, give them a good chunk of that weeks information and encourage them to research more during the week. Both are good options
If you have a similar issue but your kiddos are smaller, the first option may be the better one to pick. This way you know what information they are learning each day and your computer doesn’t suddenly stop working. With littles, this time does not need to be a lot either. Ten minutes Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and they have a good amount of information for that week. Throw in some on topic picture books from the library for them to explore at their leisure or during read aloud time and they are set. What they learn is sure to show up in their play time.
If you have children in upper elementary or higher, the second option may work better for you. As Chemistry is the hardest for me, I will gather information for my older boy over the weekend and he will have his time with me on Monday while I tell my other two to look up something specific related to their interest and tell me what they find when I am done with my older boy. I will give my older boy a good amount of information for the week whether it is on names and types of elements, common chemical reactions, or safety rules with examples on why they are important. For the days I am working with the other two, he can look up more information on what I taught him. Repeat for each kid during the week. All three then can create a presentation on what they learned that week. It can be a poster board, a write up, a power point or even just a picture collage they explain to me. They can be creative and teach me what they learn.
I have now learned how to juggle and I am no longer struggling or overwhelmed.
Whether you have one kid with a million interests, three kids, or 8 kids, these options can help you help your children explore their individual interests. Take these ideas and tweek them to work for your family. Enjoy the journey and let them share with you what they enjoy.
On a side note, I do not actually know how to juggle …. but it’s on my list of things to learn.
Greetings! My name is Joy and I am currently a stay at home mom who is home schooling her three kids in South Carolina. I love learning and I love sharing the love of learning with others so getting to home school my kids and watch the “ah ha” moments when they understand something is unbelievably rewarding. I have been homeschooling since my twins were preschool age so we are going on 8 years now. I am also a military spouse so we have the added joy of being a military family with some of the complications that come with it. As a family we stay busy with our scouting groups, American Heritage Girls and TrailLife, and we do many camping and hiking trips with them. When I have down time, I am typically reading books I have sitting around the house, on YouTube/websites getting more information on different home school programs or working on plans for homeschool. I look forward to being able to share our experiences with everyone and help encourage all homeschooling families.